Malta Restaurants: where the melding of tastes from global cuisines elevate dining on this Maltese Island
Maltese cuisine is a fusion of various cultures, including Sicilian, Spanish, French, and British. Its cuisine reflects the influences of the various civilizations that ruled over the centuries. The cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh ingredients, such as olive oil, fresh fish, and seasonal vegetables.
Here are eight great places to dine in Malta:
- Ta’ Marija Restaurant in Mdina is a traditional Maltese restaurant with a beautiful outdoor seating area and a menu full of local specialties like rabbit stew and pastizzi.
- For excellent Sushi, head to St. Julian’s Japanese sensation, called Obi.
- If you’re in the mood for Italian food, Ciao Bella in Sliema is a must-try. This popular restaurant serves up delicious pizzas and pastas, as well as a variety of meat and fish dishes.
- For a more formal dining experience, try out Palazzo Preca in Valletta. This elegant restaurant serves up fine Maltese cuisine in a beautiful setting, with dishes like Maltese rabbit and roast lamb on the menu.
- If you’re looking for a casual place to grab a bite, the food markets in Marsaxlokk and Mdina are excellent options. Here, you’ll find stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to pastries and street food.
- For a Michelin-Star dining experience, head to The de Mondion in the Mdina. This restaurant is inside the Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, and offers the most stunning international dishes using locally sourced ingredients.
- For a taste of tapas, check out Yard 32 Gin & Tapas. This trendy spot serves up a selection of local and over two-hundred gins, along with a variety of small plates and snacks. Music acts play three nights a week at this Valletta watering hole.
- Finally, no visit to Malta would be complete without trying out a traditional taverna. These rustic restaurants serve up hearty dishes like rabbit stew and pasta with Maltese sausage, often accompanied by live music. One to try is Ta’ Karolina in Marsaxlokk.
On-island you’ll delve into traditional Maltese dishes to international cuisine. One of the most popular restaurants in Valletta is Ta’ Marija, which serves up hearty Maltese dishes like rabbit stew and pastizzi.
Another great place to eat in Malta is the charming village of Mdina, located in the center of the island. Here, you’ll find a number of excellent restaurants that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. One of the standout restaurants in Mdina is the Mdina Dungeon, which is located in a former prison and serves up delicious Maltese and Mediterranean dishes.
If you’re looking for something more casual, you might want to try out one of Malta’s many food markets. The Marsaxlokk Sunday Market is a great place to sample some of the island’s freshest seafood, while the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village is a great place to try out some traditional Maltese street food.
Did you know?
During Arab rule, Malta was introduced to exotic spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and saffron, which are still widely used in Maltese cooking today. The Knights of St. John, who ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798, introduced dishes such as pastizzi (small savory pastries filled with ricotta cheese or peas), ross il-form (baked rice pudding), and the traditional Maltese bread.
When the British ruled Malta, they introduced tea as a popular drink and left a lasting impact on the island’s cuisine. Introducing new ingredients and cooking methods, such as baking and roasting, has enriched Maltese cuisine.
Today, Maltese cuisine is a melting pot of traditional dishes and modern culinary trends, focusing on seasonal ingredients, fresh seafood, and Mediterranean flavors.
Some popular Maltese dishes include ftira (a traditional Maltese bread), stews made with local vegetables, such as bragioli (beef olives), bigilla (a dip made from broad beans), and kapunata (a vegetable stew). Maltese cuisine also features a variety of fresh fish dishes, including lampuki pie (a fish pie made with dorado fish), and grilled fish dishes, such as teħtieġ (grilled swordfish). Desserts include a variety of sweet treats, such as imqaret (deep-fried pastry filled with dates), qassatat (sweet cheese pastries), and kannoli (Sicilian-style cannoli).